Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  December 6, 2014 7:50pm-10:01pm EST

7:50 pm
>> i get it, you just want to be my friend. [laughter] yes. so, go to the er citizen >> follow john. thank you so much. it was nice to have you. a special shout out i may have eluded to my panic around him, but my dad and stepmom are here and they have been so supportive and awesome and i've been just a fucking monster of a child so thank you to them. we love them very much. [applause]
7:51 pm
ellen karel has written a book called force. what's on the front of starbucks? >> it is a motorcycle deleted or not and it is in the middle of nowhere in the southern south america actually. it is a bmw because i took that motorcycle for three years alone and with it all over the world. >> we have passions and dreams. i always wanted to travel around the world. my passions have been certainly writing and motorcycle riding and i find myself at a fork in the road, unemployed and recently divorced. so, i decided that instead of just scrambling to try to find the next job i sold everything
7:52 pm
that i had, and i hopped on a motorcycle to visit and experience different cultures and different people all over the world. >> we come to forks in our lives and they are the things on the motorcycle that keep us going in the right direction and what we share and eat food with and finally, you know if you are a musician and you know what a tuning fork is in that brings harmony and resonance to that so there is a lot of meaning that for me certainly at all of that. >> before we get into some of the things i want to talk the outcome of this book does have recipes. >> is actually it does have recipes. this book is about my experience connecting with people in the culture. i went out on this trip alone, but i can tell you that it didn't take long for me to realize i was never alone.
7:53 pm
i turned around and someone was there. a lot of times we do that over food or drinks. so i thought rather than just do the travel memoir i did bring another element to that. what's better than tasting flavors of the different code jurors. it seems to everybody if you are cooking at home or something they end up in the future. >> could you run into any political situations as you traverse the world? >> there are two places that they didn't want to come into the country one of them being sued and. we didn't have a very many diplomatic relations, so when we got to the border between ethiopia and sudan it was a little bit of my own practice in diplomacy and to convince them
7:54 pm
to let me into the country and here is where it gets kind of funny. i've been on the internet with different forms and there were people actually in cairo and there were some in southern europe as well and all of that had been turned down by the embassy. here i am an easy go be a. of i have to turn around and go back to kenya to ask where in i going to go next? so after going to the embassy they decided to get a visa that there was a catch. sudan from at least a geography point of view is the largest country in africa. they gave me only seven days to get through. so the transit visa essentially. and i had a two-time that very carefully. also, the same kind of thing in syria. as an american, you're supposed to have an opportunity here in washington, d.c..
7:55 pm
>> they said go to washington. i could have gotten this visa but i've been at the road for two years plus and they asked by air and are only good for 90 days. so once again here i am stuck at the border. we are talking politics, diplomacy. i can turn around and go back to jordan which is where i was or i can try to go through israel and lebanon but i really wanted i took out my tent and camped out at syria and the like could convince somebody to call damascus and give me the okay to go into serious. and i'm telling you it was probably one of the most fuck because expectations were low it
7:56 pm
is one of the best today. i never once had to pay. any gas station they embraced me and they said even at the border to get this visa into the country i had to get one for my motorcycle, to back. here's what they said. wade, and i'm thinking great they are not going to let me through. they show up at the border where i'm waiting they said before we go you must have tea. we might get together here and have a beer or whatever. here it's like to have tea. he sat on the side of this dusty border stop on the road and drew an outline and plaintiff appears
7:57 pm
where you need to go to experience serious. so the people are warm and it's sad but it actually brings tears to my eyes to think about what's going on now because i had such a positive experience. >> that's where we connect with people. it's like over the culture. but i had good experiences, to ask. i loved and embraced south africa in its diversity all over south america just fantastic people all over the world, fantastic food. and beyond the border hassles or challenges, which i call opportunities we can get through those things and have great stuff all over the world. >> did you ever get treated poorly because he were an american?
7:58 pm
>> never once did i get treated poorly. i was asked brazil in a restaurant chatting and practicing my portuguese at this point. and i actually was fuck there was another american that brought up the fact i can't believe that we are always getting tossed under the bus so to speak, mistreated or maybe misunderstood. and what what the what this brazilian what this brazilian said committees like i am actually getting very tired of hearing americans think that people are mistreating them or look at them differently. the other travelers that i met from all over the world is that people were more interested in learning about us and so it is no amazing fact that had tried. many times to go through the lottery getting the visa to come to the country.
7:59 pm
they don't want to push us away. that's for sure. >> in your travels did you ever have to call upon the good graces or influence of of your brother got a white house correspondent for abc news? >> there was one story that i shared and it was amazing. the atm card account and internet access are pretty much everywhere. sudan is pretty tough to convert american money were used the atm card in the american bank or even the international bank that has relation to that so i was challenged with how am i going to get the currency or get money to make my way through the seven days going through that? ..
8:00 pm
his is booktv on c-span2. >> historian richard north tan smith recounsel thursday life and political career of nelson rockefeller elm the author recalls rockefeller's upbringing, his four terms as governor of new york and his national political amibitions which resulted in his tenure as vice president from 1974 to 1977. this hour and 15-minute program is next on booktv.
8:01 pm
>> good evening. i'm tom putnam, director of the john f. kennedy presidential library and museum, and on behalf of the ken library foundation and my librarian foundation colleagues i thank you for coming. welcome all those watching on c-span, and acknowledge the generous underwrite overred the kennedy library, lead sponsor, bank of america, raytheon, boston capital, the boston foundation, and our media part in other words the boston globe, x -- x finnity. it's the late 1950s, young, attractive presidential candidate, scion to fortune, one-man force field of celebrity good, look and charms, fresh all victory in his home state in the
8:02 pm
middle east and impatient under president eisenhower, itching to get the country moving again, and encountering his main impediment to the white house in the form of richard m. nixon. the description applies to john f. kennedy also fits nelson a. rockefeller. the resemblance is more uncanny when comparing their interests in the arts, environmenty, future of lattin america and their mutual belief in government action to improve working conditions-advance civil rights and promote number deer disarmament. i'm not interested in what i can't do, rockefeller said to his aides. i want to do what want to do and it's your job to tell me. governor rockefeller comes to life in this book. no stranger to presidential
8:03 pm
libraries, he has directed five, teaches at george mason university, commentator on the news hour on pbs and the inhouse historian on c-span, always a mother to he hum on our stage. mr. smith opens his book, copies of which are in the book store, capturing the compelling drama of rockefeller's courageous address against foe force 0s of extremism at the republican congress venges -- convention in 1946. one of our panelist, his nephew, was there count bassy once introduced his friend, governor rockefeller as, quote, rich enough to air condition a cotton field. and in dining a national sense of purpose nelson rockefeller believed his country, like his family, must justify its riches through good work and the sharing of wealth. larry rockefeller followed his family's long and proud history of dedication to important causes inch his case as an
8:04 pm
accompliced environmental lawyer. he also lived and worked in harlem for several years with the vista program, and served as an army vivist in the vietnam era, during which time he was mobilized by the president, not for war overseas but for the great new york postal strike of 1970. finding himself one day personally delivering the mail to the rockefeller family offices. i learn from this new book that under nelson rockefeller the state of new york spent more on fighting water pollution thon the federal government spent nationwide. this reminded me of one of this commonwealth's crusading republican governors who believed in the government's able to do good and protect our environment. he was re-elected by the largest margin in massachusetts history. since the reference is clean water, thought it appropriate to remind the audience of governor wells' acknowledge to make campaigns fun, at captured by this photo, of his impromptu
8:05 pm
dive into the charles river during a press conference to tout the state's environmental progress under his watch. it's an honor to have you here with us this evening, governor. we have dry towels at the ready if the harbor looks enticing on your way out the door. our moderator is former editor of the times book review, biographer of whitaker change. he admits to certain super city,s, including refusing to watch his favorite football people, the new york jets, on tv, because whenever he does they lose. i notice they next play the patriots on december 21st. we help he'll tune in. a native of massachusetts, richard north tan smith attended the g.o.p. convention in 1968 in miami as in his words, quote, an
8:06 pm
annoyingly precocious 14-year-old. his hopes to aid his chosen candidate, nelson rockefeller, pull off an upset and garner the presidential nomination withdashboard by richard m. mixon. these defeats did little to defer nelson rock ferrer over time. a man mr. smith describes as someone who never saw a problem he didn't not want to resolve or a vacant lot he did not want to build on. until just recently, there was the equivalent of vacant lot within the political biography shelves covering mid 20th 20th century u.s. history. richard norton smith has now filled if with a bang that is as magnificent as the life it describes, akin to a stunning, a czech tyler mast e arerpiece, candid, and captivating like nelson rockefeller. please join in the welcoming to the kennedy library, richard norton smith.
8:07 pm
[applause] >> we can all go home now. >> tonight we have a great biographer, a great statesman and a rockefeller. that a pretty good combination. let's start with a key moment for those of you who have not yet read richard's terrific biography of nelson rockefeller. it bins with a prolog, and it's a risky thing to do, sometimes indicates a lack of confidence in your material. but in this case it actually shows that richard has a big argument to make, and it's really about the past, the present, the identity and the future of the republican party in the ute, and it appears with this crucial moment, the 1964 republican convention, national
8:08 pm
convention, in san francisco, the cow palace, the year that barry goldwater, the sun belt conservative from arizona, received the nomination over nelson rockefeller, and fill us in on what happened, what rockefeller's moment that was so defining. >> first of all there was no doubt about the outcome of that convention. no one ever imagined, anyone other than barry goldwater, would be nominated, any platform in any way unacceptable to goldwater and his follower wood be adopted. it was almost a formality. but nelson rockefeller, as was his want, didn't go on with the formality. the governor bill scranton, the other candidate who got into the race at the last minute. >> from pennsylvania. >> from pennsylvania, recently deceased. sadly. great guy. great governor.
8:09 pm
his detractors muck him as hamlick of harrisburg in any event he decided to run at the last minute because, like governor rockefeller, he was appalled by senator gold water's opposition to that year's civil rights bill. that is a large part of the background. barry goldwater to be fair, was no racist. on the contrary he had been a leader in arizona in integrating the national guard and his own family's department stores. but his brand of what i call sage brush libertarianism took acceptance to the idea of the government niksch government, in effect, telling private individuals whom you had to associate with or sell to. the '64 convention is about something. about big ideas, about a fish fissure in the republican party
8:10 pm
going back to teddy roosevelt and william howard taft. the geographical -- the dominance of the south and west, which we today take for granted at the expense of the old eastern establishment, and all -- so you had this perfect clash set up, it and is was personified in one man. nelson rockefeller, who was the face of everything that those southern and western conservatives hated -- not too strong a word. they felt that their party, the old bob taft party, had been repeatedly jobbed out of the presidency by people like wendell wilkey, and thomas dewey, and yes, dwight eisenhower, and here's nelson rockefeller, knowing he doesn't have the votes, knowing it can only hurt goldwater in the fall, but nevertheless, standing up to make a five-minute speech on national tv, denouncing political extremism.
8:11 pm
which he specifies as the american communist party, the klu klux klan, and the john birch society, at the mention of which the place erupts. there are a lot of birchers there, a lot of would-be birchers there theological bertschers if not necessarily formal members and it's a moment i would argue rarely in american history is a moment of transforming change. the place went on and on and on. booing him. he understood instinctively -- and more to the point, the goldwater leaders understood, oh, my god, this is extremism. this -- we are making the argument, we're confirming rockefeller's worst allegations in a way that lyndon johnson and the democrats never could.
8:12 pm
arguably goldwater never recovered from that moment but he did win. he formalized his victory. the next morning, i would argue, the republican party was forever changed. and in many ways it is almost also foreshadowing of even the tea party movement today. i mean, libertarianism, profound philosophical and emotional antipathy toward government, distrust of government, which in the last 50 years, on the left and on the right, has had no shortage of evidence to back it up. so, larry rockefeller, you were there that day. that night when nelson rockefeller spoke. >> i was, and can bear witness, it's all true, and i was having been on the campaign trail, both with the candidate and just on my own -- >> now, how old were you at that
8:13 pm
time? >> i was 19. >> you were a college student. >> going through a -- >> a little university up around here. is that right? >> yeah. well, brother bill and i were college classmates in fact, and this is the '60s -- >> worse than that. we were fraternity mates. >> sounds like the establishment to me. >> yes, all this sound very establishment. >> so anyhow i had been out there in new hampshire campaigning in oregon and there i was at the cow palace with my aunt, abbey, because this extraordinary scene which -- that is television clips don't really convey the volume and animosity and extraordinary anger, people standing on their chairs and veins bulging, shaking their fists and -- so
8:14 pm
this went on, and so through some -- said, well, your time is up. but nelson was not going to budge, and you could just see the hair on the back of his neck. >> how far were you from him? >> we were up in the stands, but we could see -- >> had a direct line? >> oh, yeah. >> did happy say anything during this? >> well, you know, this was so compelling. we were sort of frozen watching this, and -- but he was going to say his piece, and they could not get him off of there. and then of course, the next nice was a goldwater came back and said, well, extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. well, that sort of sealed the deal, only to be tapped by
8:15 pm
lbjs daisy ad, where a girl was picking pebbles off a daisy, and morphs into a countdown to an atomic bomb going off, and it was to drive home the point, you know, extremism is not a good thing to have in the -- in the presidency. so, that's my observation. >> i'll have something to say about that. first i want to ask you both, before we go to governor wells, richard, i think you say in the book that rockefeller loved that complication. he said i'm having the time of my life. and, larry, do you remember his being ex-ill rated by this -- exhilarated? >> he was a woman battive guy. someone close to him said to me, if he had been born on the lower east side, he would have been the best street brawler of
8:16 pm
anyone. he welcomed a good fight, an intellectual fight, political fight, and there was something about himif you look at the youtube clips, you can see, at some point he gets into the rhythm of this thing. he is taunting them. he understands instinctively that they are playing into his hands, and confirming his argument. and you're right, he wasn't going to leave before he got his five minutes and wasn't going to leave before he polished off the goldwater movement for 1964. >> larry, did you speak with if afterwards? >> yes. he was really -- >> was he exhilarated by this. >> yes, and he felt he had done the right thing, and had, and he felt good about it. >> now we go to governor william wells who actually is what is not supposed to have existed after many years ago, a very successful, what we'll call moderate or some would say liberal republican.
8:17 pm
where were you at that moment? 1964. >> i was a clats mate of larry's but far from the cow palace. probably paying more attention to my duties as the member of the fraternity. i remember reading teddy white's book, "the making of the president" in 1964, the sequel to the famous "making of the president" of 1960, and the part about goldwater started with a searching quote from white, and it was true that -- the geographic element here. a lot of parted of the country did feel that the eastern establishment had been too powerful for too long, had been hijacking the goods from them. when bill clinton nominated me to go to mcs a ambassador and senator jesse helms thanked my ship, it wasn't really because he thought i would be soft on drugs in mexico.
8:18 pm
it's because he hate everything i stood for, and starting with being pro choice and pro gay rights, and worst of all, having gone to harvard. thank god uncle nelson didn't go to harvard. >> where did he go to college? >> dartmouth. >> let me mention just a couple of things here before i move on to another point. one is i'm glad, larry brought up barry goldwater's famous words, when he spoke and said, let me remind you that extremism in defense of justice is no vice, and moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue. the interesting thing about those remarks is, if you take them out of the context of that superheated moment, they're actually ideas most of us might agree with. for instance, if we were looking
8:19 pm
at the days of naziism or stalinism, we would say, or, if we're trying to stop the ebola crisis,'d say maybe we should go as far as we can go. the reason i mention that is i spoke with the author of those words -- anybody know who it was? actually one of the greatest political thinkers of the modern era. harry offfa, a student of leo strauss, the political fill of fer, and harry jaffa was a liberal republican supported charles percy, who changed his mind in this period when the republican party was undergoing a revolution, and jaffa sat in on the platform debate, and the word extremism came up. he said over and over again. so, he wrote this speech for barry goldwater, and if you take it out of context, if you just look at the words on the pain,
8:20 pm
what jaffa actually wrote was a defense of natural rights at the political fies ol' fer, like leo strauss might express them. the difference was, it came at the very supercharged political moment and it's the difference between philosophy and politics. as soon as the word extremism was presented as a virtue, at that moment the republican party became a different thing. >> and you cannot divorce it from the broader context. in 1964, we were less than two years away from having survived the cuban missile crisis. as the republicans met in san francisco, there were searches going on in mississippi for murdered civil rights workers from the north. extremism was not an abstraction. we saw it on our tv screens,
8:21 pm
we'd seen it in birmingham with police dogs and fire hoses, and to the extent he was fairly or unfairly tarred with he brush of racism, unreliableity. is hipping fer was on the nuclear button. all of those factors came into play. he didn't have to confirm the worst image that people had, and he chose to do so by using professor jaffas words. >> absolutely, and they knew the moment he said it, he walked into the trap. let me ask you, governor weld, when we look at politics now, some actually barry goldwater, over time, is looked a little better. he was very tolerant because he was a libertarian. he was one of the first -- some will remember when there were
8:22 pm
the debates about letting gays serve in the military, goldwater spoke up actually in defense of it. it was a kind of libertarianism that's been removed from our politics now. governor weld, where is that politics today? when we think about a libertarian movement or an antigovernment politic, is this something that has now become destructive to the way our society works? >> i always describe myself in office as governor as a libertarian, and i wasn't entirely joking. one reason why i was for lower taxes is because there's something oarssive about taxes, and if you can reduce the tax bite, that's pro-citizen and perhaps at the expense of the government but i always used to say there's no such thing as government money. there's only taxpayer money. at the same time on the social issues, i was a rabid liberal on abortion rights and gay rights.
8:23 pm
i'm a rabid liberal on immigration. i think anybody that isn't has not read a page of history. so, literally, fiscal conservative, and pretty conservative on crime issues because of my time as a prosecutor, but a liberal on everything else, and that describes a lot of people in the near the part of the united states. i'm very much at home here. when i work in thity department under reagan in washington, as we sat around the conference table every morning, one half of the people were self-described libertarians, the other were self-described movement kintives who are very unattractive people who all wear federalist society ties and were filled with -- hatred is not too strong a word. a lot of negativity there. and that is what is unappealing about the tea party. i personally think that most of the people in the tea party are upeople who had spending fatigue, and taxation fatigue
8:24 pm
and they're not led by social issues. there's a few who get out there and wave the banner and make a lot of noise who give the tea party a bad name, but my hope is that underneath it they're going to be discovered to be libertarians. going to be very interesting see what happened with rand paul in 2016 because he is going to mick a -- make a bid. i can't see ever getting there because of the foreign policy issues, but a lot of other people may not care about foreign policy, and senator paul may have some showing. >> larry rockefeller, you sent me an ad that you made for a gubernatorial candidate in new york, but he is not a republican. >> yeah. no. that's true. i mean, maybe partly inspired by the convention there, which was one of the last unscripted conventions, i think, partly as
8:25 pm
a result of the -- i'm one of the last remaining rockefeller family republicans. and -- but i've stayed in the party, but have been willing to speak up from time to time, and in new york, the republican candidate is supposed to -- women's right to choose and marriage equality and even for common sense background checks on guns in terms of the mentally ill. so, yes, i did that, and -- there it is. >> go ahead. >> this actually feeds into a larger issue, which i think is the frustration that so many people feel today. people who don't define themselves first and form most
8:26 pm
by ideology, people who are not terribly comfortable wearing a label, people who are pragmatists, problem. soars, like governor weld, who feel comfortable in conservative positions on some issues and liberal on others. the fact of the matter is that's a rockefeller republican, and although you may not use the phrase, it's become almost a pejorative in some quarters, or at least an oxymoron. but the fact of the matter is, tens of millions of people frustrate evidence with the polarization and the oversimply fix indication of the political process or in fact if not name rockefeller republicans. but the parties then were totally different. 50 years ago there was a rockefeller wing of the republican party. there were liberal republicans, not just in massachusetts at the harvard club. they were found all over the
8:27 pm
country. by the same token there were conservative democrats. particularly in the south but not limited to the south. i think one of the reasons why so many people today are so turned off is because people as desspirit as franklin roosevelt and barrygold water each got a holm monthized ideology include cohesive to the point of purity party so you have a truly conservative party, a truly liberal party, and guess what? that fails to account for millions of people who don't want to adopt so simplistic a view of the world. >> something else to add to that. i think what you're referring to, richard, is that fdr, franklin roosevelt in 1944, said, what this country really needs is a libraire party and a conservative party because he was being the warted by southern democrats in the senate? particular.
8:28 pm
he actually thought it would be an advantage if the two parties were more ideologically aligned. guess what. he got what he wished for and we have this moment today. an interesting aspect of all this, and governor weld will know it very well because of that absurd battle over his nomination. back in the day, until fairly recently, the conservatives seem to have a stranglehold on the senate, and the house was actually the more diverse body, and now that has changed somehow. why is that, anyone here? why do we have a house that seems more conservative than the senate? >> sam, think the interesting thing happening in the republican party is the two wings are, if you will, the governor's wing and the washington wing. not so much a distinction between house and senate. and the wonderful thing about nelson rockefeller, i consider him a mixture of bob la follett of wilkes and al smith of new
8:29 pm
york. two of my favorite politicians. they went out. what were the problems, the setting, the people and said, i'm going to solve that problem. that's the epitomy of nelson rockefeller as mr. smith's biography lingers on the point. they way he got injures stick in family matters and political matters. he would see what had to be done, do it, and people would have to follow along with the law of the case, and governors are right in front of the people they represent. they're not 500 miles air away -- away. and if they don't solve teethe problem their constituents know right away and vote them out of office. makes them almost by definition much more practical. my former colleague, charlie baker, who is running for governor here, is the ultimate hands on guy. a policy wonk. he has a restless intellect, kind of like nelson rockefeller, and will be very much one of those solve the problem type of people if he gets into office,
8:30 pm
and that is the distinction i draw more than between the house and the senate. >> well, you know, it's interesting you say that. until very recently, the assumption was that governors would always have the inside track on presidential nominateses and elections, yet in 2008, no matter who won, a senator would be elected president, the first since john kennedy, and before him, warren harding, and those are the three who have only -- the only three who have done it, jumped from the senate to the white house. now we look at a period where senators seem to have built their own bases as presidential figures, whether it's rand paul, or ted cruz, and anybody have anything to say about why this is happening? larry? do you have any thoughts? what happened to the great age of the executive governor? >> well, maybe it will come back. and it's true, nelson never saw a problem that he didn't think
8:31 pm
he could solve, that could be solved and that was in the pragmatic tradition of theodore roosevelt. and franklin roosevelt, who richard norton smith, a really brilliant book. so spot on, accurate and fascinating arc of american history brings out, and fdr actually was hero, and role model for nelson, and -- >> which a lot of republicans never forgave him. >> well, okay. answer your question, maybe it's going to return in the future, the pendulum will swing back -- >> i would agree with larry. i think it's going to come back in the republican party. i think you'll see your no knee will not be a fire-brand senator. going to be a jeb bush or mitt romney or scott walker or john kashich, a governor, which could be an advantage for the republicans in 2016 for the reasons i was getting into.
8:32 pm
governors have to solve problems. governors know that they need to measure outcomes, improvement in people's lives, not inputs, how big is the budget item. if you put the question that way, they could carry in 2016. >> richard, one of the fascinating things you say in the book, one would have taken it for granted years ago-but it's almost a shock to read it, is that nelson rockefeller -- not at the presidential level, he was a brilliant campaigner in new york, running for governor. what he really liked is governance, like bill weld. that's what it was about. >> that was baker. i liked the campaigning. >> in some ways, nelson's finest hour is one that very very few people would think of the abstract. he had a parallel here. people maybe of long memories who remember governor hopey who
8:33 pm
thought what today we could not conceive of, and heroic battle to enact a sales tax. the idea being, if you want x amount of government, let's be honest and pay for it. and not saddle our children and grandchildren with the debt. okay. 1966, nelson runs for a third term. he starts out 30 points behind anyone because all the people could think of were the taxes. and there's no doubt that taxes had gone up. the extraordinary thing about that campaign, which may be the most brilliant in modern american history, is because nelson rockefeller spent it going around new york state, convincing people that the taxes they paid were producing tangible benefits.
8:34 pm
the great university he built houston -- >> the university of new york. >> of community colleges, pure water, a billion dollar bond issue. you mentioned spending more money to fight water pollution than the federal government did nationally. the hudson river today and new york harbor, may not be pristine but the fact that they are what they are really began. program after program -- it's a different era. it's a republican version of the great society. but it was the kind of governor rockefeller would have been. the point is the media allowed him the luxury of making a sustained intellectual statistic laden argue. >> what do you mean they allowed him to do it. >> you couldn't do it today. all your political spin doctors and paid amoral campaign
8:35 pm
advisers would tell you all the reasons why last night's poll showed you can't talk about this. how many -- and i'm not talking about massachusetts but how many campaigns this year noted for the substance. how many people were talking about the future? cable tv unfortunately to a large degree has set the tone of discourse and -- >> we don't mean c-span. >> c-span is the exception that proves the rule. i'm afraid. the other thing, that was brilliant about '66, go online and look at the campaign commercials. are you sick of campaign commercials? i suspect you're sick of them in part because there's no content, they're predictable, they insult your intelligence, in 1966, nelson rockefeller ran a slew of the most clever, substantive,
8:36 pm
argument-advancing commercials. there was the talking fish. who told everyone about how much his life had improved since the governor's water pollution efforts. there was a 60-second of highway shot from above, moving to the music of a hawaiian luau. governor rockefeller had built enough roads to go to honolulu and back. on and on. these ads talked up to people. they entertained. and at the same time believe it or not they informed and they persuaded. >> richard, i remember an ad from that campaign. i was leveling in new york at the time and the opponent was frank o'connor, he the head of the city council of new york city. so there was one ad, 60-second rockefeller ad, played during the baseball games, which is all i ever watched, and it was three
8:37 pm
shots of the white copy and a black screen. the first one was, frank -- this ran statewide. the first shot was frank o'connor from new york city is running for governor. period. slide number two. frank o'connor says he thinks the subways in new york city should be free. pause. slide three. guess who he thinks should pay for them. [laughter] >> nobody outside the five bureaus could vote for frank o'connor after that ad. >> he also made the case why -- how government can work for you, and that's something today's republican party so much mileage further that is left to get through an approach to starve the beast is the phrase came in president reagan's terms, to just cut the deficit, cut the
8:38 pm
budget, rather, and then cause government programs to be unfunded. now, what happens when the nation's infrastructure continues to crumble? people will get it once again that we need to pay for this, to make it work. >> is there some way in which nelson rockefeller -- one of the things that is amusing in your book, richard, is when first franklin roosevelt and then harry truman tell him you really ought to be a democrat. and then he is running for president, and adlai stevenson says nelson rockefeller is a great liberal. all the things he doesn't want to hear. some way he comes out of a progressive movement in politics that we will have to achieve again before the republican party moves in this direction? >> the day after the 1956 election, that eisenhower and nixon won in a landslide over adlai stevenson, nelson
8:39 pm
rockefeller writes a letter to nixon, who before they became adversaries had been allies in the eisenhower administration. and he writes to nixon and congratulates him on the victory and says, you, together with the president, are making the republican party the great liberal party of the future. now, those are two words, liberal and future, that one does not often associate with today's republican party. but the fact is, guess what, because history goes a certain way, we tend to think that's the only way history could have gone. in 1956, dwight eisenhower carried 40% of the african-american vote, a majority of catholic voters, and it wasn't barry goldwater who broke the solid democratic south. i was dwight eisenhower. that same area, carried a majority of southern electoral
8:40 pm
votes. that is the history that could have been. race intervened in a major way, something as seemingly ordinary as a telephone call from the kennedy camp to mrs. martin luther king in 1960 at the time that dr. king has been arrested, expressing their concern while nixon remained conspicuously silent. >> which is not say the kennedy were so progressive or enlightened. >> such heated atmosphere. our own henry cabot ronald, who nix wonout on his ticket that year and with all due respect may be the only demonstrable example of a modern vice presidential candidate who wound up costing his ticket votes, but for good reason. he went up to harlem and he
8:41 pm
promised there would be an african-american in the cabinet if richard nixon became president. which immediately threw the nixon campaign into a tail spin, which was systemic of their problem. the republican platform in 1960 contained the strongest civil rights plank in the civil rights but richmond nixon within to atlanta and 125,000 people turn out. he could taste republican victory in the south. and in the end, he couldn't decide whether he wanted to be henry cabot lodge or -- >> well to some extent he tried to be both. be hut through the first affirmative action policies of government and then tried to appoint segregationists to the supreme court when he became president. governor, let's talk about the future. what is the republican party look like to you now? how similar or different does it
8:42 pm
seem the party that you were major figure in? >> well, if the governor's wing gets into the asend dent -- i may be getting old. i've done two events with governor dukakis, so may be coming around to this view as you were saying and larry was saying about what government can do for you. michael dukakis and i were meeting with a group to support the boston harbor harbor islande he double-ed the use 68 part of boston. until we did that and the big dig, nobody knew the boston harbor islands were there and it was not a source of recreation. so, i think that has -- is going to be seen in retrospect as the biggest thing since the filling in of the back bay in terms of the topographical history of
8:43 pm
boston. that's something government can do for you and the sort of story that governors are going to be able to tell because they've been there and done that and lived through it. it's not unlike they were in washington and cast a vote for some program and then the tangible benefits were felt 1500-miles away. so, i hate to sound pollyannaish but that's the direction i see the republican party going in. >> larry, if you were to look at new york state, you and i both live, there is anyone in the republican party that to you, or nationally, seems to embody these ideals, gov are governor weld residents ideals, governor rockefeller, the ones that richard articulated so elegantly sneer. >> we hat governor pataki for 12 years, an outstanding republican governor. no one at present i know of, and in the national scene, i thought for a while, maybe the party
8:44 pm
would crash and burn and arise from the ashes in a new form but maybe with congress maybe that type of republican majority in both houses and the chance of a republican governor becoming president, bush or romney, that there will be a different way for it to work out just as eisenhower's -- you point out, could have done. the president leading it in a new more positive, pragmatic direction, that could be -- not to say that's going to happen, but an idea. >> now, are we ready to go to some questions? do we have -- we have -- are there questions from the audience? here's your moment. i ask that the question actually be a question and if it's not i will rudely interrupt and turn
8:45 pm
it into one. one of the -- while we're getting somebody mic'd up, one of the things i had not realized in richard are book is how much eisenhower disliked rockefeller and rockefeller didn't like him either, and at wasn't point he said, governor, you have to pose with eisenhower, and he said that guy hates me. >> then they actually did the photo, and they were unusable, and rockefeller said, see, that guy hates my guts. it's a shame. it's one of the might-have-businesses of a life with them. on paper that sheave been an allies. both comfortable in the same area of the political spectrum, but they had profound differences of principle. nelson rockefeller was serial alarmist. in the '30s he was sounding the alarm about the nazi threat in lattin america. but in the '50s he was also an
8:46 pm
ardent warrior who believed that dwight eisenhower was not adequately tending to the nation's military defenses. an amazing scene in the book where they both attend one of these meetings, top secret once a year meetings, where everyone sits around and project ten years in advance, trying to imagine what soviet military strength will look like versus american military strength, and rockefeller found it alarming because we're talking about intercontinental ballistic missiles and sputnik was in the air. anyway, as soon as it's done the alarmist in nelson took over, and outside the meeting he told pulled the president aside, said, mr. president, you have to good on tv. you have to use the bully pulpit. you have to in effect bend your immense credibility and prestige
8:47 pm
as the man who won world war ii, and tell the american people how much sacrifice they're going to have to accept. for years to come. this kind of quasi-churchillan message, and eisenhower says, whoa do i always have to be the one to bring the bad news to the people? >> we have question right here. >> just going to add, here we are, the jfk library, jfk, another personal hero of mine, and he picked up on nelson rockefeller's commission, recommendations about the missile gap, ran with it. the two of them actually could have been running against each other had things worked out differently. >> for those who don't remember, john f. kennedy ran to the right of richard nixon on communism in 1960. yes, sir. >> it's a double barreled question for governor weld. the first barrel is that i have
8:48 pm
probably handful of friends that i can tolerate who describe themselves as libertarians. but none of them has ever been able to describe to me how being a libertarian is consistent with being interested in being in government. so that's the first question. second question is, on your remark that paying taxes is somehow coercive, and my question is, how is that more coercive than the grover nordqvist philosophy and that of all the republicans who signed his pledge never to have any taxes when our infrastructure is tending toward third world status and we need to do things that are good proposals, including private-public, which
8:49 pm
is probably going to lose the republicans a senator toal seat they could have had in north carolina because the republican candidate is being undercut. so, how is refusing to raise a tax less coercive on the population. >> i got it. i got it. on the first barrel, i think one of my favorite political philosophers, a guy named louie hart, a harvard professor, wrote a book called the founding of new societies, and talks about what the essence of democracy, and he said the essence of democracy is that the individual shall not be thrust in a corner. and that summons up all kinds of things about minority rights and majority rule are. but i really do agree with him. when i see the full force of
8:50 pm
government power being brought to bear to thrust an individual into a corner, it just really gets my goat. early nonmy tenure, i spent a lot of time with gay and lesbian groups who talked about what it was like having to hide out in these underground bars and it was like being an frank in hitler's germany. always hiding. the immigration issue gets me similarly exorcized today. people in the shadows, afraid of the government. that's not good for the policy. if for no 0 other reason than prudential ropes we need to -- reasons we need vastly liberalize our immigration system. those are all things i was interested in getting into government to do. on the so-called conservative time. the french anarchist, declared that property is theft. and one waggish moment i turned that around and said that
8:51 pm
actually, coercive taxation is theft. it's not theft because we have elected the government so the consent of the government is a defense to that charge, but in law school and thereafter i was quite a voracious read are of hayak, who wrote the road to sir cerfdom, and if we're not careful we won't have the freedom we have. that's why a libertarian would want to be engaged in government. >> i can add a couple of things to that. one is that if go back to the origins of the republic, historians, there has always in america been a suspicion of a powerful government. it's one reason the country was formed, a kind of
8:52 pm
anticolonialism and antimonarchyism. jefferson called his enemies mono croats -- monocrats, then was called one himself. that's a long strain in our culture, not just our politics, and sometimes there's a tendency to think that what we hear of labeled or what we hear labeled as libertarianism is something really alien to the higher values in the society, when it's not necessarily. so, if either of you would like to comment on that, amplifying what governor weld said, that would be great. >> something as simple as the tenth amendment to the constitution, which basically reserves to the states all powers not expressly enumerate to the government. and those who wrote the constitution -- doubtful it
8:53 pm
would be ratified but for the expectation that george washington, man who lore voluntarily walked away from the crown, someone who could be entrusted to limit his own personal use or abuse of power, would be there to interpret it and give it legitimacy but there's no doubt that the prevailing arguments in philadelphia saw a constitution as a means of limiting government, defining limits, and protecting liberty, however defined. >> we have another question. >> ask the speakers to comment on the end of the doctrine, the rice of british style advocacy journalism in this country and the effect on the polarity in the parties. >> great question. who wants to go first? >> i think that's known as the
8:54 pm
fox effect, and it's been crosssive and pervasive, it would help with we all weren't in our sort of informational silos, that we only hear the voice we want to hear. >> governor weld, any thoughts about senate. >> problems by watching very little television except for sports. so i'm unscarred by the fairness doctrine, and also as a libertarian, my view is so there's a lot of rubbish on tv. so what? it's the playoffs. let them play. >> governor weld, where were you on citizens united? on the decision that the court made? do you come down anywhere? >> the one that lifted -- essentially overturned the mccain feingold -- >> i think it's been mischievous. >> the decision was mischievous?
8:55 pm
>> yes. it's had real impact. >> a number of various states, including vermont, have a constitutional convention and talked to somebody, larry at harvard thinks that's been the single most poisesonnous aspect of our democracy is the influx of huge campaign spending. nelson rockefeller would have disagreed, aural that money he had. >> well, -- go ahead. >> well, the constitutional convention fascinating. professor has written 100 years ago there was at the height of the progressive era a bottleneck, a sense of frustration, that special interests controlled the united states senate, one of them being nelson aldrich, for whom governor rockefeller was name. the answer to this was, popular election of the united states senators. >> everybody gets that. before that, senators were chosen by state legislators.
8:56 pm
>> which were imminently purchasable by the economic powers that be. well, needless to say, the senate has to approve a constitutional amendment, and there was very little chance the senate as presently constituted was going to in effect sign its own death warrant by approving this. what happened was a grassroots, spontaneous, national movement arose, to call a constitutional convention, specifically about this issue, and they got to within one state and then the senate blinked. but that is what is took to break the political logjam 100 years ago. >> for the supergeeks in the audience, article 5 of the constitution says there are actually two ways to change a constitution. one is if the -- it's ratified in congress, and then the states further ratify, but also the
8:57 pm
states themselves can call for a constitutional -- it's two-thirds of the number you need to call -- >> yes. >> thing con is summoned a convention. yes, ma'am. >> for richard. why did president ford drop nelson rockefeller from the ticket? 1976 in favor of bob dole? and had rockefeller stayed on the ticket, could ford have won? >> well, one of those what-ifs. i personally am doubtful -- by that point, remember, this is nelson rockefeller post attica. nelson -- >> explain attica. >> in 1971, a prison uprising put down badly, and over the years, unfortunately, people have conflated the horrible conditions in the prison. his refusal to go and negotiate on tv with outside observers who were in fact anything but observing, and then of course
8:58 pm
the way that the retaking of the prison was botched. and all of that came together and basically he was blamed, and it's what -- >> what many people in new york remember most about him. >> it's much, much more complicated than that. but i think his political appeal even in new york -- 15 years -- imagine being governor of any major industrial complex entity for 15 years? >> not even eight, now that i think about it. [laughter] >> the reason why he dropped him, which by the way he very publicly confessed to having been the one instance he said of cowardice in his political life, and he greatly regretted it. the ford people had badly addressed -- first of all, governor reagan's determination
8:59 pm
to run and secondly the appeal he was going to have. the early campaign was going badly. they went through several campaign managers. they weren't raising money. >> that's has been -- >> challenging fordin' 1975, 1976. it is fair to say that donald rumsfeld and nelson rockefeller were put on the planet to piss each other off. and each succeeded admirably. >> there was another guy involved in that, too. right? >> yes. richard cheney. governor rockefeller was -- i'm told by people who were there in the morning -- he had a sense of humor...
9:00 pm
publicly he was the ultimately good soldier. privately the only time i could find that he gave into frustration was when charles tobias republican from maryland called him the day after it was announced to commiserate and in
9:01 pm
the midst of his condolences rockefeller cut him off and said as mathias recall that who would want to hang around with them anyway? [laughter] >> my question is regarding nelson rockefeller. i've known his later years his welfare changed greatly and i was wondering in your research did you find that this was genuine evolution? >> we all agree he was a pragmatist. he was not an ideologue. but that works both ways. for example over time when he ran for governor in 1958 he swore to oppose any welfare residency law.
9:02 pm
in fact he imposed a position on the republican party. by the time he left albany 15 years later he was boasting to the fact that for the first time since world war ii the overall welfare case had been reduced. that is pragmatism. it may also be frankly and 10 with the increasingly conservative ties. room or the conservative party was created on nelson rockefeller's watch and by 1970 it was to elect a buckley, not your buckley but another buckley to the united states senate. nelson remained a liberal and an activist and a believer in government's capacity and more obligation to bring about social justice to the end of his life.
9:03 pm
being a practical politician will hope to extend his tenure in office, he was a think rather skillful in moving with the times and the fact that the people of new york reelected him four times in the fourth time by the biggest margin suggest that they were perfectly comfortable with where he was. >> larry did you sent nelson rockefeller moving to the right in the later years? did he strike you that way? >> probably so but i wanted some point say had he become president i think he would have been a terrific president. i say that not just as a -- but all decide in richard norton smith's magnificent book just lets it all out and it's a fascinating side and i recommend it to you. >> you know something henry kissinger said and of course
9:04 pm
nelson rockefeller essentially created henry kissinger for better or worse but he said nelson rockefeller was a great man. but he sat on those early commissions that were evaluating foreign policy and strategy. >> i wondered. i was intrigued and i wondered because rockefeller was such an enthusiast. everything was the best. he could get excited about a tuna fish sandwich. literally he would say isn't this the best tennis fish sandwich you have ever had and some of that was communicated. i will tell you one quick story which presents the duality of the man and then you can go home and do your own portrait. i have been told he was very close to his mother from whom he got his ebullience and his
9:05 pm
openness to new ideas and people want art. of course she really created the museum of modern art. anyway i was told when she died he kept her ashes in a room in the big house and mrs. rockefeller was kind enough to spend some time with me and she gave me a tour of the house. we get to what is called mother chairman nye figure well no time like the present and i asked her. she said it's true. but mrs. rockefeller how could that be? there was a funeral and abby's ashes were interred in the family said that -- cemetery. she said oh nelson just reached in and grabbed a handful. [laughter] that suggests two things to me. one an almost childlike impulsiveness and a lack of self conscious polls which helps to explain why he was such a dynamite campaigner.
9:06 pm
he could walk into any room. he was as comfortable in a new york hall as a soho art gallery but it also suggests a sense of entitlement that borders on the creepy. [laughter] and you can imagine where that goes in a would-be president. >> we have learned today that nelson rockefeller was a cold war warrior and we heard president kennedy say -- and i think we are taking a look at significant prices that we haven't paid and are willing to pay in our foreign policy today. i was wondering is there a difference between what the republican body, but the tea party and the rest of the republican party and the democratic party, what are the differences from foreign policy
9:07 pm
today between the bodies and is there anything we can bring back to what nelson rockefeller and jack kennedy regarding those different stances? >> you were talking before about rand paul's foreign policy. what you walk us through some of the foreign policy. >> i'm not an expert at all but my sense is he would not be as much in the engagement camp as a john kerry or i would be. i do believe in constructive engagement. i think both secretary clinton and secretary kerry have been very good and very strong on that. the administration has perhaps flagged a little bit is in the setting of markers and then not following through. that runs like a virus through the community of international opinion. i spend a reasonable bomb of time the last few years in the middle east and arab countries
9:08 pm
over there just watch like a hawk everything that the united states does. every time the united states doesn't follow through on something and says it's going to do they just go wild. i mean the same is true in little countries like albania and uncle leo. i spent two months in mongolia a couple of years ago in connection with some business mining enterprises. but the whole world watches every time the president of the united states lifts an eyebrow. that's about as much as i have. >> here's a question for all three of you. have we entered a moment where the united states doesn't have the kind of global authority at it? it's striking to reading your book that i think in 1959 i think you said there was a poll
9:09 pm
that showed seven on a 10 americans expected an imminent nuclear attack as a result of which nelson rockefeller, the great filler of halls wanted to build fallout shelters all over america and there was a high anxiety. but at the same time confidence in american power as governor well is talking about. do we no longer just bestride the globe in the way we did and what we now nostalgic recall the american century, the the period after world war ii through the end of the world were? anybody. >> we were hurt by syria and i don't think president obama wants to describe the earth like a colossus. a lot of other people i think are so sickened by what's going on around the globe that they are moving away from constructive engagement which i
9:10 pm
think is bad development. >> have we lost some of the authority to engage the way we once could richard? >> it depends on how you mean engagement. if you mean sending in the marines is questionable the authority aside from national interest. you know i think we are at in a murky twilight period when there are cross currents at work. people are war or worry. there's no doubt about that. people question the validity of the wars in iraq and afghanistan and at the same time call it nostalgia or call it patriotism, call the principle engagement, whatever you call it there are many americans who expect a president to be bolder, more assertive, just to be in the bully pulpit perhaps explaining
9:11 pm
the situation if nothing else. i think one of the surprising things to many of us who quite frankly admired the president and particularly admire. >> president obama. >> president obama and his willingness. historians should never make predictions. it's hard enough to predict the past without predicting the future but i think history will be kinder to this president than we are today in part because with the passage of time and the fact that the next administration whoever does will have to deal with the same issues. no longer will obama be judged against himself but just as george w. bush has come to look better, anyway. >> well. [laughter] >> look at the poll numbers, okay? the fact is it's not what we expect of the presidency.
9:12 pm
the bully pulpit is a thing of the past. if you mean teddy roosevelt arthur's question sure fdr, jfk. in 1970 richard nixon's white house could call three men in towers of new york that afternoon happened audience of 7 million people that night. richard nixon could speak about vietnam at a time of real popular anxiety and he could move the numbers. he could move them 10 or 12 points in whatever direction he wanted. that is gone. >> and yet it was his vice president spiro agnew who made the case that the networks were. >> which is a politically shrewd factually questionable case. >> we have one last question. this is going to the bee the buzz question yet, right? >> i hope so.
9:13 pm
>> my question is apart from president eisenhower what did nelson rockefeller think of other presidents and what did each of them depict? >> one reason why i took 14 years to write this book was it took that long to get through nelson's outer defenses. it went beyond compartmentalizing his life. he liked to quote his father who said never show more service that needed and his own daughter saying i wish we, referring to the family, knew him as well as the voters of new york. the voters of new york all may knew what he wanted them to know. why did he keep flirting with running for president in 1960 and 68 and not do it? heat did get in after getting out in 68. why did he not go to attica?
9:14 pm
this activist to insert himself into every imaginable situation, and i found a quote about 12 years into this project from an oral history he did. he was ad hoc to his trust for $10 million so he decided he would write a memoir. he didn't write the book but he'd did over 500 pages of oral history, the first person to have access to it. in that there's a sentence that's buried that comes closer to anything else i think that getting to this mystery. he said something to the effect, he said whenever i found myself in a position where i was uncomfortable and not in control and i was perfectly willing to pull back until such time as i felt i could be in control that is seems to me humanizes nelson rockefeller more than anything he said. it suggests vulnerabilities in
9:15 pm
the man that were at least the equal of his soaring ambition but it also raises some are questions about what kind of candidate or president he would have been. why? nelson rockefeller never got over franklin roosevelt. it was a warmly inscribed picture of fdr and his office. he told someone who is a very great man and he explained how he understand as roosevelt understood they have to give people hope. in a democratic capitalist system there in equities. you have to be willing in a proactive way to identify and address those inequities. you have to be a reformer to prevent revolution. that's the message he took. that's the heart of republicanism but beyond that he wasn't running against john kennedy or richard nixon.
9:16 pm
he was running against the ghost of franklin roosevelt and his closest political adviser a man named george once explained it was fdr who was the president. he could never quite imagined himself, for all of his apparent self-confidence, for all of his enthusiasm, for all of his resources and talent and accomplishment there was something in him that held back from identifying, not identifying with fdr but in effect equalizing himself with fdr. >> after hearing that how could you not want to read richard norton smith's biography of nelson rockefeller? [applause] thank you all. thank you to everyone in the audience as well. [applause]
9:17 pm
former u.s. congressman joseph hoeffel talks about the lead-up to the iraq war and the deceptions he said were perpetrated by the bush to get congress including hoeffel to support it. that's next on booktv. [applause] >> thank you very much. it's a real pleasure to be here at the jenkintown colonna sprit appreciate the opportunity, your open-mindedness and your willingness to talk about a book and talk about an issue that frankly is still with us. the problems in iraq. i wanted to thank gloria in particular for getting me here and making the arrangements and thank you for your leadership
9:18 pm
and thanks to all of you for having me. i wrote this book, "the iraq lie" how the white house sold the war for two reasons. one, i wanted to set the record straight regarding how george bush and his administration misled us into the war in iraq under false pretenses. secondly i wanted to add my thoughts as to how to make sure this never happens again by trying to change our intelligence laws so that classified intelligence isn't me and misused in this fashion in the future. when i was writing a book and finishing it a year ago little did i realize that the issues that have sprung from our involvement in iraq starting with the invasion in 2003 are still with us and i wanted to talk a little bit about that today at the end of my remarks. i know that we need to be out of
9:19 pm
here by 1:30. i will try to keep my remarks relatively short so we have time for questions and answers -- you know this is being filmed by c-span. when you get a chance to ask your questions please wait until they bring a microphone to you so your question will be on the air as well as is my attempt to answer your questions. we could go through a quick chronology of this war, a war that i voted for and i came to very deeply regret that vote. i recall talking to my wife in the fall of 2002 and telling her that while i was conflicted about whether to authorize war i intended to vote yes on the war resolution because i felt it was necessarily to disarm saddam hussein of what was mass distraction and she said to me you can do that.
9:20 pm
i said well honey i believe i have to. i've been briefed by the white house. i've been briefed by the military and it seems clear hussein has these weapons of mass destruction and she said well you can't just trust george bush. i said well if he's making all this up, if george bush is lying about the weapons of mass distraction that will rent him and it turns out we were both right. so you recall the chronology i think in the summer of 02 and august. vice president cheney made a speech to the vfw saying that there was no doubt a phrase he used over and over that hussein had weapons of mass distraction and was prepared to use them against friends of ours. in september on the 26th of president spoke in the roof garden and said that the regime possesses weapons of mass distraction in iraq. on october 1 a classified
9:21 pm
intelligence report was issued called the national intelligence estimate on iraqi weapons. these are the conference's statements of the intelligence committee that are issued from time to time, this one on iraqi weapons. this was a classified document. only a handful of members of congress side. you had to be an elected leader of congress or a member of the intelligence committee in order to see it. they were not allowed to talk about what they had seen under the law that was then in place. it was circulated primarily on a classified basis within the bush administration. that and i be concluded that hussein probably had weapons of mass destruction but it was full of caveats, full of reservations, full of uncertainties and those uncertainties were clearly stated. we don't know about this aspect of me don't know about that aspect of me haven't seen this and none of that was reported. it didn't reflect the positives
9:22 pm
of the public's remarks that the president and vice president and vice president secretary of defense were all making that hussein clearly had weapons of mass destruction. on the second of october a day later i was briefed at the white house along with other members of the house and the national relations committee by george tenet than the cia director of condoleezza rice then the national security adviser and they were totally positive that hussein had weapons of mass destruction. congressman adam schiff was a senior member of the intelligence committee not been on the committee asked george tenet house certainly -- certain was in the scale of one to 10 about these weapons and tenet said 10. condoleezza rice started muttering about not wanting to prove to be a mushroom cloud. thank you recall that. no mention that the day before the intelligence community had
9:23 pm
circulated this classified intelligence estimate that was so full of reservations. on the third of october i was visited by a op med chalabi did. do you remember him? the kind of buffoonish blowhard iraqi exile who was supposed to go back to iraq and leave the country into democracy? not that ever happen because he had no support in iraq although he was the bush administration's favorite iraqi. i remember thinking as he talked to me that he sounded just like a white house staffer. he was making the same arguments that i've heard the day before from george tenet and condoleezza rice. the following day on the fourth of october, friday the cia put out a public link because people have been clamoring for a declassified document that summarized the intelligence. george tenet would put out a public white paper that reportedly summarized the intelligence that was contained in a classified document put out
9:24 pm
on monday. a white paper which was available and still available on the cia web site took out all the caveats that the national intelligence estimate had contained in said with total certainty and conviction that hussein had weapons and was prepared to use them and was getting more. that familiar story that we have heard. i propose to you that that's the iraq legg, the fact that the public statements and the public white paper put out by the cia did not correspond to the uncertainty and reservations contained in the classified reservation and yes we were misled into war. the following monday the president spoke in cincinnati saying that iraq possessed weapons of mass distraction and on the tenth of october the house voted in favor of the war resolution. i voted yes as i said and have come very deeply to regret that
9:25 pm
vote. the following day the senate voted in the following week the president signed the authorization and we were authorized to go to war. a month later november 27 saddam hussein let weapons inspectors back into iraq. you are called the end of the 1991 persian gulf war there was a cease-fire. there was an agreement that hussein would allow weapons inspections. in 1998 he stopped but after that congressional vote in 02 the following month he allow us inspectors back in. you will member hans blix of the u.n. weapons inspection team and mohammad albert died of the atomic energy agency. they went back into iraq and made three public reports to the united nations security council. in january of 03, february and march. all three before the war started. they said in public that they
9:26 pm
were having no notice inspections. anywhere they wanted without telling anybody. they were not finding weapons of mass distraction and they didn't think there were any. and that really alarmed me. i propose now that a great president would have postponed or suspended the invasion scheduled for the 19th of march and in order to start on the 19th of march. it would have been a difficult thing to do. the troops were overseas. the marines were on the boat. the invasion was ready to go but the experts on the ground and i were were not finding weapons of mass distraction. i was supposed to be the reason we were invaded and a great president would have called a hault and said let the inspections continue. in my opinion george bush was not a great president but that was his greatest mistake.
9:27 pm
he may have been misled by his experts but by failing to stop when it was clear that the weapons were not there. the war was started on the 19th. 4500 americans died. 30,000 wounded, probably 100,000 iraqis died. the department of defense spent $758 billion, estimates of total cost probably $2 trillion on america's dime for the war in iraq. on may 1 of 03 george bush landed on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier in his flight suit and the mission was accomplished the banner said. on the sixth of june there was a leak. there was a leak in watching 10 of a defense intelligence agency report from the previous september of 03 that said there's no credible evidence
9:28 pm
about chemical weapons in iraq. that defense intelligence agency in september 02 should have been part and impact was part of the classified intelligence summary, the national intelligence summary but no one had heard this in the public arena until somebody leaked it in june of 03. on the second of july george bush said bring him on when asked what was going on and if we have solidified the security in our country. when he said that 165 americans have died in iraq. after he said it about 4500 more had died. the end on july 18 the white house partially declassified that national intelligence estimate from the previous october. probably to discredit the cia and blame the cia for the
9:29 pm
mistakes of intelligence but what happened was they discredited myself because what they declassified which you can also see today is all those caveats and reservations at the national intelligence estimate had contained in it so they shot themselves in the foot and i believe that was the end or the beginning of the end of the president's credibility regarding the weapons of mass destruction. then there was a series of reports that kind of accounted and assessed responsibility in july of 04. the senate intelligence committee said that the national intelligence estimate had not been supported by the underlying intelligence into moving the caveats from out a paper had misrepresented judgments to the public. ..
9:30 pm
to deal with the responsibility for the war when they are so up to risk, when soldiers are still in the field and dying for the country. and the 04 election should have been aware it was debated but hardly was an issue.
9:31 pm
the 06 report said nothing to do with al qaeda. never was going to arm al qaeda and had nothing to do with 9/11 and those have all been promoted by george bush before the invasion is reality. and they said in a in a way to the president may say that it's not supported by intelligence and he had misled us into war under false patent is. what got me wanting to write the book was published memoirs. they really got under my skin because they thought they were not dealing with reality. as condoleezza rice they do not deal in reality. the basic approach of intelligence is that intelligence was wrong.
9:32 pm
who knew. but they knew that they were distorting the intelligence. george tenet who probably distorted things more than anybody in the 02 wrote the best memoir that i think historians will look to for the truth of what happened. it would have been far too assertive about the weapons of mass disruption and colin powell also has come clean and said as a block on his record. it is the biggest mistake that he ever made. and i still think that it was best if all of those that served resident bush a truly remarkable american. so, the question what are the lessons in how to we prevent
9:33 pm
this from happening. and i believe that the intelligence law should be changed to mandate the public disclosure of intelligence findings. if any future president calls upon the congress to authorize preemptive war. the methods of collecting intelligence and the sources of intelligence have to remain classic so we don't thought our adversaries and protect the agency to protect the agency but the judgment or opinions into future president wants the future president wants to go to war and ask for congressional authority to start a war, that ought to be disclosed to the congress and the public at the media. this is the first preemptive war and as it has never before without being attacked or without having something going on. there've only been five declarations of them were by congress.
9:34 pm
anybody want to try to name them, five declarations of war by congress in our history. 1812, spanish-american. world war i, world war ii and there is one more. the mexican word that is a tough one to get. five declarations of the war but there have been 13 congressional authorizations, statutory authorizations like iraq, like viacom. there've been several times when the united nations has first authorized activity and congress filed suit. there were 125 other times according to the justice department study a president has used military force to try to protect the country or accomplish some purpose without statutory authority or
9:35 pm
declaration. the president is commander in chief and surely has some right to act on at least a short-term basis to keep the country safe, respond to, attacks to tally eight, to share intelligence with allies and the like. and george bush was correct that in the future we may have to do preemptive war again. he pronounced a doctrine of preemption and in the age of terror with weapons of mass distraction and terror groups and rogue nations to take this kind of action again. we may have intelligence that north korea is about to attack israel or we are about to be attacked. my suggestion is that if we give such intelligence in the future,
9:36 pm
let it be disclosed and let the public make those judgments. so, today we see dick cheney was pretty wrong about his comments on iraq. he said there were weapons of mass distraction, we would be greeted as liberators. it would take weeks, not months for us to conclude our business in iraq. it took nine years. barack obama concluded in december of 2011 but was unable to come to terms with the iraqis to keep kind of a carry-on force in iraq. and in hindsight, president obama was wrong. he washed his hands of iraq in december of 2011. who could blame them at that point. with maliki who is the prime minister that bush and cheney put into place made a bad situation worse. he was a small minded shiite politician.
9:37 pm
he discriminated against and took advantage of the sunni minority, the kurdish minority in iraq generating incredible feelings into the war to isis to the islamic state to come in and fill that vacuum and now president obama we come to realize the threat from the islamic state and what to do about that. i think that the president would be very well served if he were to go to congress now come to disclose whatever intelligence is leading him to say that we need to degrade and east roy fuck destroy isis delete. it's one thing to go back into the visitation of the government, but we are now conducting hostilities in the phrase of the the war powers
9:38 pm
act. and in cereal or we are not invited. maybe we are targeted by the thought of regime because we are going after his enemy for the islamic state, but i think that american forces are being put into what's going to be a very very long fight against the islamic state. it's going to be hard enough to degrade almost impossible to destroy them. he wants the congress would he congress would he want to take off of your policy so that they are with you on the landing. because the landing can be a very hard landing indeed. well i think i've gone on for a little too long. i hope that you have some questions. the crew is getting its microphone ready so if anybody would like to start. >> do you have any questions?
9:39 pm
>> i will start with one. the islamic state, the islamic state is a religion. is there any real reason we should try to eliminate. i don't think that there is anything to eliminate this threat. >> there's no question there's no doubt the islamic state has pronounced itself a caliphate in the demanding of the allegiance of all muslims around the world. they are not just a conservative brand of islam, but they are an extreme terrorist brand and their policies to kill people that disagree with their deal with the islamic religion.
9:40 pm
i think you have to separate the religious aspect from the military or security threats they posed. the president is on the right foot by putting together a coalition to lead the charge against the islamic state but has a lot of the sunni nations at the forefront. to do military things in the middle east against muslims whether they were sunni or shia. so the president is on the right track and we need to get turkey
9:41 pm
to do more. we should expect more of our nato allies and turkey has done. i think the rational nations of the middle east including the sunni nations have to lead the charge against the islamic state whether they agree with the findings you come up with. dick gephardt and nancy pelosi.
9:42 pm
virtually one third of the republicans voted yes and the democrats split 43 to 60 now. they realized it was a bad policy. they haven't written books about it. walter jones may be the only one that spoke out against it to its credit. and people are trying to forget what happened and that is a terrible mistake because these issues are still with us and we have to learn from our history. >> you have to have some more
9:43 pm
questions. >> did you ever traveled to iraq during any of your time there collects >> i was in congress six years. i did some travel and i thought that it was appropriate as a member of the international relations committee. i didn't do the paris show in the government representatives went to israel. the airshow probably ought to be off-limits. they need to understand what's going on around the world. boots on the ground will be
9:44 pm
necessary. they are certainly muslim groups in the sunni nations who understand the risk. the troops did a wonderful job. but the civilian didn't send enough troops to iraq and but didn't get into a right protective gear, had her occupation policies and all the rest. if troops are needed i don't think that they should be mostly american i think that would backfire on this country.
9:45 pm
>> do all of the muslim countries read and use the same. islam is a peaceful religion and there are just extremists and terrorists that conduct their violence in the name of islam and they are bastardizing that religion when they do so. >> it was pursued to be very conservative. at the time you make your vote there was probably some paranoia in the country to break down all of the intelligence communities
9:46 pm
and that came under a lot of criticism down the road. do you feel the vote might have been predicated at the time that the risk of political suicide if you voted against the war resolution? >> it happened a month before the congressional election. and my constituents were inflamed by the bush program that he had weapons of mass distraction and was about to use them. and it was on my mind it was an election coming up.
9:47 pm
he could have been stopped in the corners of the world war might have been avoided. saddam hussein used weapons of mass destruction before in the 1980s against the kurds that we've been discussing and against the iranian citizens. in 02 and 03 he was no threat at all to us. so do the politics affect the formation of the public policy absolutely. and it having an impact on me but i felt that we had to disarm
9:48 pm
it. >> that leads into my question considering the freedom of information act that recently has disclosed from over four through 11 data they have found some weapons of mass instruction by 2500. >> it's true that if you can believe "the new york times" two weeks ago published a big story on finding some old calico and biological weapons between four and 2011. that they were all weapons of the 80s and '90s they were not current weapons, they were degrading, they were leaking, they were not usable. so it proved what we already knew. hussein certainly had weapons in the 1980s and had a program that lasted until about mid-1990s to develop more.
9:49 pm
but the un sanctions kept a lid on him and by the mid-'90s he had no current usable weapons of mass distraction. >> yes-man. the air any other developing that we thought that they were hiding, so do you belief that isis has erupted in the form of distracting us from them to continue to build without our drones and things focusing on them. this issue is sunni extremists. they don't like each other.
9:50 pm
there is a body of thought that says we should leave the problem to the iranian mullahs who don't like them to the current iraqi government that doesn't like them which is still a shiite majority into a sob in syria. the problem is bad news for missiles and fighting for his own life. the iraqi government is weak. the army collapsed which is why they have all of his weapons because when they stood up to the iraqi army had fled and i'm not sure what the iranians were up to, probably no good but they are not in government devices. >> we have to keep a close eye on iran and pressure on them and
9:51 pm
keep advocating inspections. absolutely. >> where has the press been the last years? >> the press has gone on to other things. they missed the boat in 02 and 03 and they are embarrassed by that. they thought the bush party line excessively. that is when the press turned. we were taken for fools. the failure in the misuse of intelligence and at this point they moved on and they are
9:52 pm
interested in what is happening today because we know what is happening today in the root of the misadventures back in 02 and 03 nothing is new under the sun and we do need to learn from history or its just going words just going to repeat itself. that's for sure. >> there's always been a school of thought in the country that the commitment to the middle east predicated upon economic traditions rather than political or religious because of our dependence on foreign oil. we become more energy independent in this country and the need before the oil declines to you feel our interest in supporting this political and religious chaos in the middle east will continue? >> it will be wonderful to get energy independence even if it is only in part. that is very, very important. and our reliance on middle east oil is a problem. i think that blank i'm not sure
9:53 pm
what motivated him. it may have been too avenged the attempt on his father's life and it may have been as george bush stated he wanted to spread democracy throughout the middle east which is a great goal but not very realistic and it may have been that he was trying to protect our access to the oil. he never said he was in favor of democracy. his memoir doesn't tell us. but if you look at the history of the western european english history, we've always protected our access to oil and the sooner we can get away from that foreign oil and get energy independence, the better off we will be. i think that we are out of time. thank you for listening to me. i appreciate it very much. i've got copies of the book over to the side i'd be happy to sell them to you and find them for
9:54 pm
you and i also have some brochures my son and i set up a practice here so we've got some brochures over there and mostly i just wanted to thank you. you've been a very intended audience and i appreciate it very much. [applause] keep watching for more television for serious readers. >> way we toured a baylor university's library with director rita patterson. >> robert and elizabeth were victorian poets. they were both born in the london area and they met in 1845-46, married in 1846 and
9:55 pm
they lived for about 15 years in florida and italy. one of the amazing things about elisabeth would be her novel claim and also especially the pilots from the portuguese. she's well known for the 36th sonnet that is used for greeting cards and advertisements. how i love the let me count the ways. i know everyone has heard that before. the collection came to the university in 1918 through the efforts of armstrong who was the turning of the english department from 1912 to 1952. and he was very and i learned of the poetry blank enamored in the poetry. but he taught it probably yearly when he came here.
9:56 pm
he started his own collection and in the collection, we have letters both by robert and elizabeth, letters that were written to them and books that they actually owned. many art pieces that belongs to them and got memorabilia items. the collection just grew and grew. and at that time it was housed in the main library and finally had its own room but because there were so many items collected. there were samples of the materials in the library and i wanted to point out something that is one of my favorites. this is a sample of the material. it is a step that she prepared for the printer in order to publish the summit in 1850.
9:57 pm
inside are her handwritten sonnet. the interesting thing, these were written as sonnets from elizabeth to robert and done during their courtship time of 1845 to 1846 when they were published a list of giving the point in 1849 and he thought they were some of the most beautiful but he'd ever read into that they should be published. so, they did prepare the site for the printer and a colder than sonnets from the portuguese as a way of the fact that they were one of sonnets from her to him. he did call for my little perching keys. she did have a dark complexion and was also interested in the
9:58 pm
public, so sonnets from the portuguese, they also thought perhaps people would think they were translations from the portuguese poet. they were trying to that they were published in the back of the claims of 1850 selected and take the public long to realize that they were sonnets. another thing that is very popular here and many of the scholars come to use this other book of poetry, written by elizabeth that's what makes this one so particular is on the very back inside of the cover is a draft of the sonnet. when we got the notebook we had no idea that this was in the
9:59 pm
back of the book, and we were very excited to find out that as far as we know this is the only rough draft of one of the sonnets that exist. also in the collection we have many of the books that belong. i only have one sample. this belonged to robert browning and this is a carrying case and it contains greek classics. he would carry these small books around with him when he went to visit and we jokingly called this his kindle. he was an invitation inside would have an invitation inside of the book of where he read the item and what they hit was and there were many times we pulled these items up or for the
10:00 pm
visiting scholars to see and also had a sample of the manuscript was written by robert browning. ..


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on